LIBRARY OF METROPOLITAN CHAPTER
The Library of the Metropolitan Chapter belongs among the oldest historic libraries in the Czech republic. It isn´t a common library but a book fund appointed to professional studies of qualified scholars.
The oldest part of the library is a historic archive. It is a collection of important documents concerning St. Vitus Chapter and St. Vitus Cathedral. There are transcriptions of old documents since the year 1052, the oldest well-preserved original parchment is from the year 1177. Lots of those documents come from the work of administrators of Prague archbishopric, who were voted, in time of the release of the archbishopric throne between the years 1421 and 1561, from the midst of the Metropolitan Chapter to administrate matters of Prague archdiceses.
From the begining the Metropolitan Chapter collected together archival documents and also holographs and later printed books. Immediately after the foundation of Prague archbishopric in the year 973 the cathedral school started to exist; in the 11th century it already reached the European level. The main sources of acquisitions of the library in that time were mainly gifts and legacy of members of the Chapter.
It was also important for the library to make and renew texts for liturgical celebrations. One of the successors of Kosmas Chronicle quoted, that dean Vít of the Metropolitan Chapter provided at his own expenses the library with new liturgical texts instead of those over used.
We come to know from the old inventories of St. Vitus church, how the Chapter library progressively expanded. In the year 1354 one hundred and eighty six items were listed in the library and the oldest well-preserved inventory of St. Vitus cathedral from the year 1387 numbered already 269 items and divided them in the following groups: libri oficiorum matutinalium, libri gradualium, missalia, evangelia et epistolae, libri theologiae, libri omeliarum, libri evangeliorum, libri epistolarum, libri doctorum, libri cronicarum and further more.
The separate part of the historic archive is a collection of music sheets from the 18th century and from the first half of the 19th century. Originally this collection listed 670 items. In the autumn 1923 when the Wohlmut choir was cleared Dr. Podlaha added to the collection a considerable amount of non-catalogued music sheets from older times, during the years 1924 and 1925 he sorted all items according to authors into a new alphabetic catalogue. In the foreword to this catalogue Dr. Podlaha mentioned a short history of a singer choir and a musical chorus which came from the time of these old music sheets. A smaller collection of still used music sheets is administrated by Mr Kšica, the choirmaster of St . Vitus choir.
Nowadays the library fund numbers approximately 15 000 categorized items and 13 000 non-categorized items. Because of the running renovation work present loans are permited only. In the case of a researcher interest the librarian of the Chapter library can be contacted: Ing. Miroslav Kroneisl, tel.: 222 741 214, 728 640 296, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sections bestowed to maintenance of the Prague Castle Archive:
a) Historic archive
- Catalogus codicum manu scriptorium, quae in archivio capituli metropolitani Pragensis asservantur. Complied by Dr. Antonín Podlaha
- Archive of Prague Metropolitan Chapter. Catalogue of documents and papers. Complied by Eršil and Pražák
b) Collection of old music sheets
- Ecclesia metropolitana Pragensis. Catalogus collectionis operum artis musicae. Dr. Štefan filled in work of Dr. Podlaha.
c) Holograph codexes
- A list of holographs of the Library of Prague Metropolitan Chapter. Complied by Dr. Antonín Podlaha
Sections kept by the Metropolitan Chapter:
a) Incunabulas – Catalogus incunabulorum, quae in bibliotheca capituli metropolitani. Pragensis assevantum. Complied by Dr. Antonín Podlaha
b) Books published after the year 1500
c) New archival documents, registratura